The impact of ruminative processing on the experience of self referent intrusive memories in depression

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Abstract
The current study sought to experimentally assess the differential effects of analytical ruminative processing and distraction on the experience of self-referent naturally occurring intrusive memories in a sample of dysphoric (BDI-II ≥ 12) participants. Seventy seven undergraduate participants completed a memory interview to elicit details about a self-referential intrusion and were randomly assigned to either an analytical rumination or distraction condition. Subsequent to the rumination induction, participants rated their intrusive memory as more negative, more distressing, and more evocative of a negative emotional response compared to participants who were allocated to the distraction induction. Inducing analytical rumination also resulted in participants reporting worse (i.e., more sad) mood relative to those in the distraction condition. The findings align with the suggestion that depressed individuals may get caught up in a ruminative cycle that, due to the documented effects of analytical self-focus, exacerbate the emotional response elicited by intrusions and perpetuate biased attentional focus on them. Directions for future investigations of the cognitive processes that are important in the maintenance of intrusions in depressive disorders are discussed.
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Williams, Alishia
Moulds, Michelle
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Publication Year
2010
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Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty
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download Behav_Therapy_Final[1].pdf 87.45 KB Adobe Portable Document Format
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